Before the age of 2, most children can fly as a “lap child” and share a small airplane seat with an adult. I’ve had more than my fair share of lap child experiences, flying to and from Germany several times when Preschool Boy was a baby and recently with Toddler Girl. Let’s face it, it’s usually not economically feasible to buy an airplane ticket for a child when you don’t have to, so it’s not uncommon. Luckily there are products like the FlyeBaby designed specifically for plane travel with young kids.
What is FlyeBaby?
FlyeBaby is a portable, hammock-style, fabric seat that folds up and easily fits in a diaper bag. It creates a comfortable, secure place to put your baby on an airplane, at home, at a restaurant or at the beach or pool. It is machine washable and comes with a matching fabric storage bag.
FlyeBaby on an Airplane
I used the FlyeBaby with my 13 month old daughter on two short flights while traveling over the holidays. The instructions are pretty straightforward, but it did take me a little bit of trial and error to get it secured the first time. Second time? I was an old pro and it was easy as pie. There are 3 velcro straps that attach to the tray table and one belt that goes around the adult’s waist, creating a sling like seat for baby. The baby is secured in the seat with a 3-point harness.
Once I got Toddler Girl all strapped in, we were good to go. I loved that I could see her and interact face-to-face as well as have my hands relatively free to attend to Preschool Boy. I was worried about feeling cramped, but I honestly did not. It was far more comfortable for me than wrestling to keep her content on my lap. Baby Girl seemed to like it, too. Seriously, after we snapped a few photos, she leaned back and got a very unusual zen look on her face and just chilled. (Perhaps I need to use the Flyebaby at home so she’ll happily sit still here, too?!?)
At nearly 20 pounds, Toddler Girl is on the high end of the weight limit as it’s only intended for use with babies up to 25 pounds. But, one of the cool things about the FlyeBaby is that because it secures to the tray table with multiple straps, you can adjust them to create the angle you want. In other words, adjust the horizontal strap higher on the tray table to create more of a “seat” so your older child is sitting up straight or move the strap lower to create more of a “sling” for younger babies to recline.
Travel High Chair
One of the best features of the FlyeBaby is its versatility. In addition to creating a lap seat for baby on a plane, it can be used to turn most chairs into a high chair for baby. Seriously perfect for travel, don’t you think? To use as a high chair, the 3 velcro straps go around the back of a chair and a chair tie secures to the top of the chair to prevent it from slipping too low. The final strap attaches to the bottom of the chair to keep it in place. It’s very intuitive and easy to attach to a traditional chair.
Toddler Girl seems to enjoy sitting in this on a chair at a table as much as she did when we were on the airplane. In fact, when I had it set up to take pictures for this post, she kept pointing and asking to get back in the chair! But, to the point, the FlyeBaby is really ideal as a travel high chair.
It folds up to a very compact size and even comes in its own carrying case. It’s small enough, that I can easily throw it in my diaper bag. I will definitely take it with me when we eat at friend’s homes and other places without spare high chairs.
It’s also suggested for use on beach and pool lounge chairs. It’s not lounge chair season (even in Florida) so I didn’t get to use it this way, but it’s one more reason I think it’s perfect for travel.
To Buy or Not to Buy
To Buy…. The Flyebaby is one product I wish I’d had years ago. I’m sure previous plane fights would have been much easier and I would have been more sane upon landing. It makes the small plane seat more comfortable for baby and parent and is easy to use. And, of course, I love that it serves multiple functions so well.
Or Not to Buy… Toddler Girl isn’t on the long side as far as babies are concerned, but if your child is long it might not be as comfortable to use. I also recommend playing with it before you get on a plane so you can easily install it if you are juggling multiple kids.
Shop! Flyebaby is available in three fun fabrics for $49.95.